a viper in hawaii (my dad/stepmom visit to us)

A Viper in Hawaii

My Dad, affectionately known as “Viper,”  and his wife/my stepmom Anna, recently just came out to our pretty little island for a tropical vacation and visitation.    So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been absentee – that’s why!  I’ve been playing housekeeper and hostess, tourist, and vacationeer and just going a million miles an hour to ensure that they had a great time.   I did a ton of planning work and prep before their arrival that kept me running around like crazy; thus once they got here, I took a lil vacay from the computer and now it’s time to play catch up. 

Without further ado… the story of their visit:

A Viper was in Hawaii! 

hehehe… Hawaii’s one of many claim’s to fame is being snake-free, so having a Viper out here in Hawaii really is an outlandish and silly as it sounds!

For both of them, this was their first trip to the ‘aina.  It was also their first time seeing Matthew (my husband) in over a year, the first time ever meeting our pooch, JJ, and about four months since they’d last seen me.  So, most of the trip was focused on catching up, quality fam time… but as much as possible was spent seeing this beautiful place I currently call home.  Like anyone’s eight-day-Hawaiian-trip would be: we crammed a lot into a short time!

We picked them up at the airport and brought them fresh flower leis, as per request!  (We didn’t want to disappoint them right off the bat now).


After getting them home, we just unpacked, hung out, ate some dinner – a homemade meal Matthew treated us all too, fried panko shrimp, grilled chicken with homemade fresh mango salsa, sticky sushi rice, amazing! – and caught up with each other.

TAMC  (Tripler Army Medical Center, my second home) 

The first real day on the island was pretty boring.  I had a doctor’s appointment, and it ended up taking a long time.  Funnily enough, I ended up getting some shots, Trigger Point Therapy.  My Dad, a doctor, happens to be extremely familiar with the ole Trigger Point technique.  So he hung out and got to watch, and play coach.  Fun times!  Well, at least in my weird world, this is fun times.

my dad, my doctor, and me - "a little the right... a little to the left... just right!"

Sadly enough the length of the appointment kinda ruined any chance of doing much else.  So we just went home and relaxed.

Our Beach Day

For The Shapiros first real day in Hawaii (technically they’re third, but that’s how distracted I can get everyone with all my dilly dallying) we went to Kailua Beach and had a lovely day in the sun!  Well, the sun that came in between the rain anyways.   Kailua Beach is where my husband and I were married, and we just had to introduce my folks to the location. We brought beach mats and towels, both dogs (JJ + the poodle we’re dogsitting) and had a sandy good time!

Anna and Viper went swimming and while they were in the water they realized it was the first time they’d ever been in the ocean together.  How cute!  And it happened to be The Pacific, which is wild seeing as they’ve both within 30 minutes of the Atlantic for 40+ years.

anna and dad in the ocean at last!

dad, me, and jayjers playing in the warm hawaiian water

such good boys!

Once the rain and wind started to overpower the skies we packed it up and went across the way to Bob’s.  Bob’s is a pizza joint in Kailua Beach and it’s one of my all-time (if not singular all-time) favorite pizza joints.  It’s soooo good!  Dad and Anna have been griping about not having access to quality food where they hail from (Leesburg, Florida) and thus they were literally starved for tasty delights.  SO tasty delights we pursued!

our pizza, one half had sausage, mushrooms and onions (i think)... duggs and i got our usual on our half: spinach and garlic. with the red sauce. extra cheese. OH MY GOODNESS.

After having some incredible hot delicious pizza, we went right next door: Island Snow!  Viper and Anna got their first try of Shave Ice, my fave Hawaiian cold treat.

the viper likes shave ice

oh sweet pooches had such a fun day!

Horseback Riding

We went home, did a quick costume change and packed in the car for the North Shore.  Our evening actibity was horseback riding, we booked a private trail ride at the Hawaii Polo Club.

I can’t vouch for this experience enough:  the horses are beautiful athletes, the ride was fun and at a good pace (no mule horses that just tried to eat the whole time, we actually rode), the location is unreal in its gorgeousness and the good people running the joint are friendly and helpful.  I think it’s safe to say that a good time was had by all.   (My only qualm is that they answer the phone on Hawaii-time, so call plenty in advance to make sure you can book).

viper = tall in the saddle!

rosie the rider

our super tough horsey gang

sunset on the beach, horseback riding, in hawaii... my life feels so incredible it's hard to believe sometimes

the love of my life

The horsies were so much fun.  After the trail ride Anna, Duggs, and I all got a brief private lesson with one of the polo pros, Javier.  Javier took us around the track and we got to go super fast and feel really serious and awesome.  He told me I was a natural and that I’m really good at horseback riding.  Which I mean, I’m pretty good at everything so I wasn’t so surprised, but it just feels really great to hear from a Spanish Polo professional.  Ahh.

Hahaha… I’m just joking around, cool it.

Boating on K-Bay;  Dinner in Waikiki

The next day we went Boating and then enjoyed some Fine Dining.  It was so lovely.   We did get rained on a bit while we were out on the boat, but since we had the middle-of-the-day time slot, we still got three-ish hours of bright bright sun.

cap'n duggs

My friends Grace and Monica came with us too, and they were such a joy to have around!  They’re two of JJ’s fosters parents.  JJ lived with their family for about three or four months before Duggs and I met and adopted him.  They’re volunteers for Hawaii Dog Foundation and they foster dogs all the time.   Grace and I are both blood cancer survivors, leukemia and lymphoma, respectively, so we’ve had a special connection as soon as we met.    My stepmom is an animal rescuer as well, and she’s saved the lives of so many cats.  I knew that we’d all get along and we’d be able to chat about pets and how cute little fluffy animals are.  My assumption was correct!

monica and grace

grace with olivia, me with jj

they were amazed by how pretty the bay is, surround by lush lovely mountains

We did get some fun and swimming time in.  The tide was a little too high for the sandbar to be pooch-accessible.  We’ve been when it’s really low and JJ can literally run and frolic. But this day it was a tad too deep.  I still made took him swimming and we taught the poodle, Eros, how to swim too!

he loves it!

sunscreen is for white people

Then the rain came, eeks!

roughing out the storm in style

the cap'n sailed us to safety. motored us to safety.

After a day on the high seas, we went out for an amazing steak dinner down in Waikiki!

anna and dad, dolled up for date night and looking dapper!

my daddy and i

Then we had a “down” day. 

Like i said earlier: this was part vacay, yes, but it was mostly family catching up and visiting.   After a couple days of busy activities, we took a day and a half to just chill at home.  Dad cooked up a huge meal.  Dad and Duggs ran some errands, I think mostly stocking up on foodstuffs to cook and wares to cook with.  Anna and I made some tie dye!   I’ve dyed for years, and back when I lived with Dad/Anna, we all tie dyed together.  Since I have my “studio” for my business now – I’m well stocked up on awesome quality pre-soaks, dyes, and detergents… and my technique has vastly improved.  So, this time around produced way better results than the old days of just messing around.

Dad’d dinner was awesome.  He made a Viper specialty simply known as “stuff,” one of his own creations that I had totally missed since moving out.

watching the pooches play took up a lot of our time

dad, happily cooking

our tie dye all wrapped up and ready to rinse

Luau Fun!

The next day we hung out at home for most of the time too.  We watched TV, rinsed and washed the tie dye, and we said goodbye to the pooches.  Our friends, The Tanners (who are total saints) came over to hang out for a bit, introduce my parents to their adorable doggies Bailey, and then they collected JJ and Eros to bring to their house.   The reason being the day after the luau we took off for the north shore for a couple nights.

jed was here to collect the pooches

ashley was looking through tie dye inventory while hanging out and ended up making a purchase

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  The luau was fun times!  We did Paradise Cove.  It’s the same luau Matthew and I took my sister, Anna, and his BFF, Brian, to when they visited in September.  Since that experience they’ve hired a new chef, and we could instantly tell.  The food was SO GOOD.  I literally ate so much food that Matthew made me take a pregnancy test.   I was downright gluttonous.  I had four pieces of fried chicken, six helpings of the fish, an unspeakable amount of coconut cake.  I ate civiche and salad and anything I could get my hands on.

my first trip to the buffet

The test was negative, by the way.  Cool your jets eager readers… we aren’t quite ready to try again.  Soon though, hopefully.

There was lots to do other than the food.  The sunset was epic.  Their were activities and crafts, and the show was so fun!  Hula, fire dancing, music and jokes.

i always get really into this kinda stuff. into/overboard

me and my dad, our hawaiian versions

viper making his headband

looking very local!

did i mention there were drink tickets and mai tais involved?


the show!

"stand up if you're in love!"

I promise I don’t work for Paradise Cove, I just really had a great time.

North Shore, Turtle Bay, Amazing!

The last two nights of their trip were spent on total luxurious vacation mode.  Turtle Bay Resort up on the North Shore is one of the most beautiful plaxces I’ve ever been.  It’s probably just the most beautiful.  Matthew and I did our honeymoon there and we had an amazing time.  There are two pools (and one has a water slide!), hot tubs, a full spa, five star dining, and epic escapist views.  The Resort is located up on a little jut of land that’s surrounded by water on both sides, so every hotel room is ocean-view.

Dad and Anna had toyed with the idea of making part of their trip a vacation and I really insisted if they did, they choose Turtle Bay.  Once we found out about the summer specials they were running, it was a done deal!  generously, Dad offered to treat Matthew and I to our own room on the terms that we accompany them, so our visit doesn’t have to end when the vacation part starts.  We immediately obliged and had such a great time:  thank you dad and Anna!!

So we woke up early, packed, and we were off.

Well…. almost off.  We had to stop at Bob’s Pizza first, hehe!

mmmm, bob's!

Our time at Turtle Bay was just SO AWESOME.  Lounging poolside, relaxing in the luxurious rooms, the food… oh the food!  Matthew and I just really loved every minute there and it was such a blessing to get to re-visit our honeymoon location before we leave the island.  Anna and Dad got a couples’ massage on the beach (they have this special hut on the beach, it’s awesome), and we all met up for their last official dinner in Hawaii at the Italian restaurant in the hotel.

i'm gettin my tan on!

dad and anna, sippin pina coladas and living aloha!

ole irish duggs has some very fair skin

sliding anna, so fun

we gave ourselves "tens" on form

hot tub in the rain

matthew and i, at their "goodbbye" dinner

anna and dad, saying "aloha" one last time

leaving turtle bay

We left Turtle Bay that morning, made some pit stops along the North Shore: lunch at Shark’s Cove Grill and one last shave ice at Matsumoto’s, and got home in time for my parentals to pack up and say goodbye to the pooches.  Then it was off to the airport.

daddy saying bye to the noodle one last time

TTFN: ta-ta for now!

I really hope that they had a great time out here.  Given all that we did and saw, experienced and had fun with – I don’t see how they couldn’t have.  It was sad to say goodbye, especially since we’re so very far away and we’re not sure when the next time is that we’ll all be together.   But I’m the  HAPPY hippie and thus, I don’t dwell on the sad, but rather the happy – and the happy memories are a-plenty!

Thanks for everything Dad and Anna, we had way too much fun and you were way too generous in all that you treated us to.  We love you and miss you already!!


4 responses

  1. Rose, thank you so much for sharing this. Yes, our vacation was perfect, mostly because you & Duggs went way out of your way to make sure it was! Hawaii is a beautiful & majestic place, but I know that no matter where we meet up, we will always have a wonderful time with you both. You always have an interesting perspective on things, and it’s usually hilarious! Last night, I was considering googling “shave ice-makers for the home”……..Again, thank you both so much for all the planning and preparations you made so that we would make the most of those eight days. I’m sure it took a lot of time, phone calls, and maybe headaches (when the Polo Club didn’t answer the phone!) and we so appreciate this. Definitely our all-time best vacation ever! We are wishing a wonderful vacay for you, Duggs & your mom, as well. Love, Viper & Anna

  2. I love reading your blog. I love the openness, the way you express yourself, the vulnerability, the sheer joy you have in life.

    And, yours make mine look short. But I’d love them even if they didn’t. 8^)

    (No, they are NOT too long! They’re perfect!)

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